IISMAS / Publications / International Jour...nscultural Medicine / International Jour...al Medicine - no. 1

International Journal of Migration and Transcultural Medicine - no. 1

Volume 1, no. 1, October/December 2005

International Journal of Migration and Transcultural Medicine - no. 1




Editorial Aldo Morrone

Not easy for me to write a journal leader on the plane which is taking me back to Italy. Too many emotions, too many contrasting feelings, not enough filtered yet, or elaborated, are flooding my heart and mind. Impossible a neutral reasoning. One cannot keep scientific impartiality when involved in passions, emotions, dreams, fights, success and defeat.

In Tigray, in the Almata district, I have seen for myself the devastating violence of malaria, much stronger than HIV/AIDS infections. One of the causes of this pathology increase is the rainwater the farmers are forced to use to irrigate the land and be able to grow food. A cynical destiny appears to hang on them, being struck by malaria or starving to death!

The terrorist attack in London, July 7 th , have plunged us all into a nightmare from which we had thought to have just come out. And once again the political mass media tam-tam was started: off the immigrants from Europe, out of our country! The equation immigrant equal terrorist appears to have the most penetrating effect on the public opinion. No use the British birth certificates of the London attackers. The power holders seize any opportunity to try and inflate a sense of alarm in the citizens. Sometimes it is the heat emergency, sometimes the cold emergency, sometimes the pit-bull attacks…, the tsunami…, the avian disease…

People are scared and feel uncomfortable about the present and the future. They shut up their house doors and withdraw into their shells for more safety. Moreover, job insecurity, housing insecurity, emotional insecurity bring additional anxiety to all this.

And yet, until few years ago, we had tried to convince ourselves that we were quite near to attain affluence and security as never before one could have thought of, or searched for. The daydream is over and the tricks have been uncovered. We have been forced to learn once more that to achieve safeness is our job, no one can do it for us. No magic wand can make us rich, more young, more attractive. Our personality, self-confidence, emotions are built up day after day, through sacrifice, challenge, struggles. Sometimes we are successful, sometimes defeated. This is the difficult and fascinating course of everyday life and it helps us discover the extraordinary within us, beside us, that often, too often, alas, we overlook. We fear to be confronted with the other, the one inside us and the one we now meet every day on the bus, at the marketplace, in the queue at the post office. It is as if we had suddenly been awakened from a dream… the impression of fear still mixed with the certitude that it was only a nightmare. Years go by, and we have let ourselves get trapped into the promise of easy earnings, easy beauty treatments… as if all this could take the place of human relationships.

No one can take our place when it comes to our engagement and responsibility. History itself, not only the daily events, depends on each one of us. Nobody else but we ourselves can propose our future and devise the path towards it. In life, it doesn't work delegating. We cannot restrict ourselves to discussing on the events, we are not the commentators, we are the main characters in the story. We cannot withdraw from the arena, here is the framework where can we engage our responsibility and our pleasure “ to soil our hands”. Often, when defeat and wounds are more scorching, I end up thinking of Antonio Gramsci, in jail, in Turi, of his strenuous resistance against despair, disease and doubt. More often should we read his letters from the prison, a testimony of exceptional courage, sustained up to the very end. Then I realise that we all have been spared such a cruel destiny. Therefore, we have no right to complain, but we do have the duty of expanding on the matters, of getting angry, of deciding about our attitude and sharing with the others our experiences. We should narrate what we see with our hearts' eyes and our clarity of mind.

Our hope is that the journal may contribute to this purpose, not only by collecting scientific experiences, but seeking for deeper insights as well, stories and contributions from anyone willing to try with the others common ways and paths. For the simple reason that we share a common origin and that we all are linked to each other in a common destiny, towards an ever open future, but a common future, this too.